The Perky Kebab is a major tiramisu fan. Back in our youth I made him a tiramisu for his birthday a couple of times. Sadly for him, I had never really eaten tiramisu before and, despite best intentions, really didn’t do it justice.
To his credit, my dear husband-to-be enthusiastically gobbled up my efforts. But instead of a relatively fluffy egg and cream concoction, I created a solid, over-whipped, cream heavy version. It was so difficult to extract from the glasses I presented it in that a crowbar would have been of more use than a spoon!
Thankfully since then I have experienced “proper” tiramisu and realised how surprisingly light, fluffy and wonderful a booze, coffee and cream filled dessert can be.
So when we had Italian food-loving friends over for dinner, I knew it was time for a tiramisu redo. Thanks to Felicity Cloake’s excellent recipe in her Guardian column, it was pretty easy to get it right this time round.
My version of her recipe includes a little more coffee (I clearly dunked my savoiardi biscuits for longer than she did as I managed to used about 400ml coffee to her 100ml!) and swaps the traditional Tia Maria/rum for Cointreau as I enjoy the slight orange hint it lends the dessert.
It’s the perfect way to end an Italian feast and could also be the answer to your Christmas dessert quandaries. The more glamorous Italian cousin of the trifle would be a great alternative to a Christmas pudding.
Adapted from Felicity Cloake’s Perfect Tiramisu
4 eggs, separated
75g caster sugar
400ml espresso coffee (or very strong caffetiere coffee)
6 tablespoons Cointreau
20 savoiardi biscuits (or boudoir if unavailable)
8 small tumblers/wine glasses/martini glasses/etc
- Whisk three of the egg whites until stiff, then set aside.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and voluminous, then whisk in the mascarpone, a little at a time, until smooth and well combined – you don’t want lumps of cheese. Gently fold the three whites into the mascarpone mixture with a large metal spoon, being careful to knock as little air out as possible.
- Stir the Cointreau into the coffee and pour into a shallow dish. Dip each biscuit into the liquid until it is a pale coffee colour, then arrange to cover the bases of your glasses.
- Spoon around 3 tablespoons of mascarpone mixture on top of each one, followed by a good sprinkle of cocoa, then repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of the cheese and cocoa.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours before serving – you may need to dust with a little more cocoa to make it look respectable.
6 hours is the minimum needed to ensure your tiramisu is ultra-delicious, however it will also keep well overnight in the fridge.